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Manila bartenders share how to make popular cocktails |

Food and Leisure

Manila bartenders share how to make popular cocktails

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Manila bartenders share how to make popular cocktails
Pablo Bistro's bartender Chris Francisco prepares Caipirinha with fresh lime juice, sugar and Tanduay Asian Rum Silver.
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — The bar scene in the Philippines, particularly in the metro’s “happening-est” places, is thriving. Talented bartenders are able to show off their extraordinary skills once again, with their creativity running at an all-time high.

Tanduay, one of the staunchest supporters of this thriving bar scene, puts the spotlight on five of these bars — The Spirits Library, Polilya, Pablo Bistro, Japonesa and 205 BGC — in a video series called Cocktail Culture. More than just featuring the bars, the video series highlights the talent behind them, showing their star bartenders creating different cocktails crafted with some of brand’s most-awarded premium rums.  

“At the center of our partnership with these leading bars is our commitment to excellent craftsmanship. Our premium rum products are not just poured; but they are crafted into experiences by their top bartenders,” said Marc Ngo, International Business Development Manager of Tanduay Brands International.

Spending almost a decade on the job and learning about the Filipino cocktail culture, Ngo describes the scene as characterized by a distinct preference for sweetness, reflecting the country’s collective sweet tooth.

Fueled by the tropical climate, Filipino taste buds naturally lean towards refreshing and fruity cocktails. However, in recent years, particularly among the younger generation, there has been an eager acceptance of the broader spectrum of cocktail culture, venturing beyond the familiar territory of light and fruity mixes. 

The Spirits Library's bartender Enrico Adolfo.

Through a series of videos that showcase these five well-known local bars, Tanduay provides a glimpse into the vibrant and dynamically evolving Filipino cocktail landscape.

“We also wanted to show people how Tanduay brands can elevate simple cocktails and make them special. At the same time, we would like to feature the bartenders who tirelessly work at creating amazing cocktails for customers to enjoy,” said Ngo.

In the video focusing on The Spirits Library, which is one of the most popular bars in Poblacion, the cultural and heritage district of Makati, its bartender, Enrico Adolfo, is seen preparing An Ode to the Sun, which is made with Tanduay Asian Rum Silver.  He combines and mixes the rum with dashes of Spanish bitters, Poire William Eau de Vie and Cocciti Americano, and creates a flamed mist using yellow chartreuse for an unforgettable concoction.

A different video features Polilya, another popular bar in the area, with its bartender Esse Magsino creating the Dear Maria cocktail with Tanduay’s premium Especia Spiced Rum. He makes it with pandan syrup, pineapple syrup, ginger cordial, fresh lime juice and angostura bitters served with crushed ice — a rich and aromatic tropical delight that captures Poblacion’s vibrant vibe.

Pablo Bistro, the dining haven in Salcedo Village, Makati, known for its excellent Spanish menu, is also included in the Cocktail Culture series. In the video, its top bartender, Chris Francisco, can be seen preparing Caipirinha with fresh lime juice, sugar and Tanduay Asian Rum Silver to create a smooth concoction with an exciting flavor profile.

Polilya's 'Dear Maria' made with Especia Spiced Rum

Japonesa, the must-visit Poblacion restaurant that specializes in Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, creates yet another awesome cocktail drink in the video series. For the Asian Refreshing cocktail concoction, Japonesa’s bartender, Jason Alinsunurin, mixes brown sugar, cucumber, mint leaves, Cointreau, Macadamia syrup, lime juice and cucumber peel with Tanduay Asian Rum Gold. It definitely is a not-to-be-missed cocktail when visiting the bar.

Then there’s 205 BGC, which has come up with the On Holiday cocktail. In the video, bartender Jam Labay can be seen creating a sweet symphony of simple syrup and lime juice and mixes in the bold character of Tanduay Asian Rum Gold. It’s a cocktail that is a journey for the palate, with every flavor note unfolding like a story for customers to savor.

Did these got you all curious and excited? Created by Off the Grid, the Tanduay Cocktail Culture video series can be seen on

RELATED: Mixologists share easy cocktail recipes

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